It's a Tuesday afternoon, much like any other Tuesday in the year. This one is just over two weeks into the new year. 2011 That makes today, 1-11-11. Towards the end of the new year, in the month of November, we will have 11-11-11. Quite an interesting date. I'm sure that many people across the country are playing the number in some lottery somewhere. Hoping the numbers come up and they get a huge windfall. Well, why not? It could happen, I suppose.
On this very windy and cold afternoon, those of us here in the Northeast are bracing for what we have seen countless times before. A Nor-Easter. In case someone isn't familiar with the term, let's just say, it could get very hairy here in regards to the winter storm. The winds and whatever precipitation is in the air, will be howling and blowing. Being that it's winter, the moisture laden clouds will reach us as snow. An unwelcome four letter word. And not just a little snow. Oh no. Generally speaking, a good old Nor Easter can dump humongous amounts of the white stuff. In fact, the weather folks and predicting as much as 18-24 inches in some parts of the state. It will be the heavy wet kind of snow that weighs a ton and kills your back as you move shovel after shovel clearing the sidewalks, cars, and driveways. Coupled with strong winds, it will create huge snow drifts. Some three, four or five feet high.It's great for the kids. Sledding and playing in winters new white cloak.. And for the skiers too, their will be elation. Although now, most the ski areas have their own snow making machines. They don't have to rely on Mother Nature to cover the hills and valleys. The fresh fallen snow takes the harsh edge off of the surrounding trees and buildings. Leaving everything covered in soft, albeit cold, shimmering blanket. Soon enough though, the tiny invisible particles in the air will settle on this clean bright frozen bits of water, and turn beautiful looking objects into huge ugly and very unattractive mounds of dark black residue. Then it just becomes a nuisance. that's when most of us wish it would just disappear. We dream of green fields, flowers, blue sky, sun and sand.
But alas, wish as much as we want to, nothing will remove this unsightly ground cover until warmer winds prevail. that's at least three months away. In the meantime, all we can do is hope and dream.
So today, I'm dreaming of being in room 3212 on the main building. I'm, standing on the patio watching the happy campers scampering about. it's the fourth day of our vacation and we have been soaking up lots and lots of natures warming rays. We are walking along the shoreline from the towel shack to Bayside. Slowly, hand in hand we move along. Every now and then, I see something interesting in the little bit of seaweed that has come ashore. Delroy works tireless every day to clean the beach, but it all comes back to be done over again the next morning.
I notice something in the seaweed and I nudge it it with my big toe. Turning it over to get a better look. ;Most of the time, it turns out to be nothing at all. Once in a while, we find beach glass. Worn smooth by prolonged time in the ocean, Than cast aside up on the beach. We look for particular colors. Red and blue are hard to find. There is always an abundance of green and brown. But this time there really isn't anything to pick up and save.
We also like to look for something called Horse eye. So named, because it looks just like a horses eye. It is a seed of a plant that grows far up in the hills. After a heavy rain storm, these seeds are plucked off the bush by wind and rain and make their way down the rivers and into the sea. The seed is about one inch around. Not completely round. It looks as though it was squished just a bit. It is dark brown, almost black, with a thin white line like an equator on the earth. Inside is white like a coconut, but you can't eat it. It has no other special properties or real value. The Jamaican boys, both young and old, rub the seed on the sidewalk or the street. It makes the seed hot. Then they quickly put it to another kids arm or leg. It's a game they play that doesn't really hurt the other person, but it a shocker. I spent countless hours on one of our trips collecting as many as I ;could find. As a woodworker, I thought that they could be used in some design. Turns out, there really wasn't anything I could do with them.But I still like to find them and show them to people, relating the story of they migration from the hills of Jamaica, to the ocean and eventually wash up on the beaches along the coastline...The best time to find them is after a big rainstorm with lots of wind. The unsuspecting seeds are ripped off the bush and begin their watery journey down river.
Back home, when we stroll along our ;New England beaches, we hardly ever look for anything in the sand. There is nothing beneath our feet but soft sands, small rocks, broken sea shells and bits of drift wood, swollen to twice there original size having been floating in the ocean for long periods of time. There is also other less desirable debris that litters the waters edge. Hypodermic syringes, paper trash from Micky D, sanitary napkins and occasionally raw sewage. Most of time, the coastlines of Massachusetts and New Hampshire are clean and inviting. But after a big storm, the water filtration stations just can handle the onslaught of all that water. Everything backs up and bathers must take care to navigate their path as they head for the frigid waters of the Atlantic.
While we are there in Jamaica, everything seems to take on a fresh new look. Stones are prettier. Seaweed is interesting. And weathered drift wood conjures up imaginary creatures. We are much in tune with nature while we are there. We seek and often find the most trivial of rock or wood or bottle caps. Syl likes to look for rocks in the shape of New Hampshire, her home state. She always tells me that if could find rocks and pebbles the shape of every state, it would make a very interesting collage. "We glue them down" she continues making an interesting map of the Unites States. We haven't gotten very far. We do find New Hampshire shapes, but we haven't come across say, Texas or Florida or Utah. That's okay. It was time spent in sheer fun and enjoyment. And made more special for the time we spent together. Two people stranded on a n island looking for unknown treasures.
I did find a gold wedding ring once. As a wave was retreating back, I caught a glimpse of something shiny. The sun made it glisten against the sand. I bent over and snatched it up before another wave of water rolled over it to be lost again. We were both quite surprised. I held it in my open hand. It was gold alright. No markings on it of any kind. When we got back to the lobby, I turned it over to someone from management. It turned out, to belong to a guest that had been there a few days before. They were frantic as they left the resort empty handed. When they received a phone call from Couples, their worries were rewarded with happy smiles and many many thank yous. You just never know. Another time, during a scavenger hunt, Amy and Eric found, are you ready for this, a complete set of false teeth. That's a story in itself.
And so the afternoon went on. Two of us with no place to go, no meeting to meet, no business to conduct. Just being there. Time was on our side and we were part of time,
Now and then, we would hear someone call our names. "Hey Riche. Sylvy" rang out from somewhere on the beach. We stopped and scanned the chaise lounges occupied by all those sun baked bodies. this time, it wasn't any of the guests at all. It was Damion. He was headed towards the veggie bar. We could see him waving his arms to get our attention. "Wah a gwam" he yelled. "Nutin a gwam" I answered. His face filled with a smile that melts our hearts. We left the waters edge and went to meet him at the bottom of the stairs that lead up to the main bar. Hugs and smiles. Things that we will never tire of giving or receiving. "Where are you working tonight", Sly asked him. "Okay. I'm gonna tell you. I am at the piano bar". "Okay" we said in unison. "We'll stop by on our way to dinner tonight". "Okay mon". Another hug, another hand shake and Damion headed up the stairs and we were left standing there. At that point I asked Sylvia what she wanted to do next. "Oh, I don't know", she said. Then her face lit up and she asked if I would like to play frisbee. "Sure" I answered. Syl looked into the beach bag and came up with our yellow soft frisbee. It's made of nylon with tiny ball bearings sewn into the outside edge. If it hits you it won't break you sunglasses or leave a mark. "Great idea babe".
So for the next half hour or so, we tossed it and caught it and running into the water when it went off course. Rushing to retrieve it before the sandy bottom gobbled it up to be lost forever. "Okay Syl", I called out. "One more toss" And with a flick of my wrist I sent it sailing straight for her. As I walked towards her, she was putting our toy back into our beach bag.
We were a little tired and very sweaty from all that running around. But a quick dip in the blue green warm waters of the Caribbean and refreshment washed over us. i ran back to the beach and grabbed a couple of floaties. We swam and splashed and played in the water like two kids who were at camp for the first time. We were exhausted. But it felt wonderful. It always does.
With nothing on the agenda, we decided to head back to the room. maybe a little nap. Maybe some "tower time". Anything is possible in Jamaica. It was a great afternoon that morphed into a wonderful evening and continued on into another bright sunny morning.
As I said earlier, this was just one of my imaginary episodes that can transport me from the harsh cold afternoon of Medford, to a place neither one of us could have ever imagined we would have been, One look outside the window here and I could tell the storm was on its way. Then the phone rang, really jolting me back to this frozen homeland. It was a recording from the Chief of Police with a message for all residents. "Due to impending storm, there is a parking ban in affect until further notice. Any vehicle parked on the wrong side of the street will be towed". We're lucky. We have a small driveway that just fits our two cars. Nothing to do now but wait for what was coming. I doubt that either one of us will go to work tomorrow. We have plenty of supplies to munch on. It was sounding more and more as though everyone and everything will be closed. We will stay inside. Where it's warm and watch TV. make something good for supper. And wait out the big mess that will arrive around midnight.
Maybe I'll take Syl on another one of my imaginary trips. We'll close our eyes, hold each others hands, and go where we have been so many times before. Maybe Ill take out the suntan lotion and inhale the enchanting aroma. The scent will take us away. Again.
I know where you are coming from. It is Wednesday afternoon, right in the middle of the NOR'EASTER up here in New Hampshire. I just came back inside from sitting on the front porch. I was out there with my cigar, looking out at the snow, thinking I'm on the balcony at CN and the snow is the sand. Then the wind would kick up and a cold blast of snow would hit my face, and I snap back to reality. The wind dies down and I'm back on the balcony at CN.
42 days from now and I won't have to imagine it. Looking forward to seeing Herbert or Patrick greeting us and telling us "Welcome Home". Running into LaToya and getting a big hug from her. She was bringing us drinks on the beach when we first started going to CN almost 10 years ago. Stopping by the little shop and giving Kerry Ann a big hug.
Richie, I wish you and Syl could join us. Kim and I really enjoyed the times we spent with the both of you at the New England Par Taa's the past two years. You two are a very special couple.
I love "Time is on our side and we are part of time" Thank You so much for a wonderful story. Yes, I was taken back!! My husband and I walk along the beach at CN and find the little white shells. I have a big glass jar I pput them in. I look at that jar and think of our wonderful walks along the beach at CN. We enjoy throwing a tennis ball back and forth in the ocean. Good times. Thanks again for taking me back to the most wonderful place on earth.
I am so pleased that you were able to get a break in the midst of everything. I try to live my life remembering what E.T said to
Elliot. Pointing his long finger to his head and exclaimed, "I'll be right here." The mind is a wonderful thing to play with.
Hi John! I guess we are all reminiscing & dreaming with the wonderful story posted by Crabracer. And, you answered my next question with your statement of "42 days from now...". You and Kim are going home!!! Congrats! As of today, we have 44 days, but we are trying out CSA this time around. I don't want to compare CN to CSA too much while there but will try to enjoy this resort in it's own unique way. However, I'm sure it will be a tell-tell sign of which one we enjoy more and would re-book for our third visit to Negril. Our best to you and Kim.
John - Yes, please look for us and most likely you will find us on the beach as close to a seagrape tree, if possible! And you know the look for Will is going to be something "Steeler" or "Pens" related! LOL Also, our friends gave us these cool towel holders to take on vacation this year...they have our names monogrammed on them so we'll try to make sure they're on our chairs the 28th. Until then...stay warm...
Being from upstate New York I know right where you are coming from. I am sitting here freezing thinking of the next time we will get the wonderful chance to be at CSA, because for some reason my husband does not want to try any of the other resorts he says "Why mess with what we know and love". I could care less which couples we are at as long as it is one of them and far from the cold nasty weather of NY.
My Jamaican bride ( wife and I flew from PA to CTI to get married in March 2010) went back to Jamaica for Christmas same year. Stayed at CSS for 3 days and CTI for 3 days, split trip. I'm the one on the photo contest dressed with santa shorts and hat passed out on the beach. LOL Reading your story, I was right there again on the beach at both resorts. Not even thinking about the 12" of show outside. story made me open my picture folder from the trip and view them again. Thanks for taking me back again, can't wait to go back in May this year!! CTI is our home away from home due to getting married there, it's special in our hearts. Going to CSS in May for 6 days, but I'm sure will do a day trip to CTI.